Love, Victor: Season Two Episode Blog

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Love, Victor Season Two is available on Disney + from June 18th; this live blog is updated after each episode has aired.

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Season One – RECAP

One week from now, we will be heading back to Creekwood High for the second season of Love, Victor. But, before we rejoin Victor, Benji, Mia and Felix, let’s take a quick look back at season one. Of course, you can read our full spoiler-free review of the first season here, but I am assuming you are here because you are ready for season two. So, a word of warning, I am about to go through the story so far.

Having just moved from Texas to Atlanta, the Salazar family, dad, Armando, mum Isabel, Victor, his sister Pilar and the youngest Adrian settle into their new apartment. However, Armando and Isabel have not been completely honest with the kids about the reason for their move, and the truth sits hidden as they unpack their belongings. For Victor, Pilar and Adrian, the move also means a new school. And for Pilar and Victor, this couldn’t have come at a more difficult time as they attempt to make new friends. However, for Victor, the move also opens up new possibilities, as he attempts to navigate feelings that have haunted him for a while. Victor is confused about his sexuality and unsure of who he is and who he wants to be, his feelings intensified by a family environment where the word gay is problematic.


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Victor is aware that his new school was once home to Simon Spier (Love, Simon) and reaches out to Simon via Instagram for some advice. Simon, now living with Bram in New York, responds, and a long-distance friendship begins. Meanwhile, Victor also meets the geeky and adorable Felix who lives next door, slowly striking up a friendship. Everything is going pretty well at Creekwood, as Victor joins the basketball team and meets the beautiful Mia. But, in the back of his mind, his sexuality continues to dominate his thoughts; what would his parents do if they knew? What would his new friends think? And could he be gay, bisexual or just confused?



These questions are only heightened when Victor meets Benji, who works at the local coffee shop. Benji is out and proud, confident and engaging; he even has a boyfriend. For Victor, Benji is pure perfection, and he quickly gets a job at the coffee shop working alongside him. But, Benji is also unattainable, and showing any affection or attraction would only worsen Victor’s situation. And anyway, Mia seems to like Victor, and she is also beautiful, sweet and supportive. But can Victor really offer Mia anything more than friendship?

Victor opts to date Mia, while Felix tries to woo Mia’s popular best friend, trying to overcome his shyness. And by Christmas, Victor has convinced himself that he is straight, even though he knows that to be a lie. Meanwhile, secrets are coming out at home, as his sister discovers the reason for the family move, and Victor finds himself trying to keep the family unit together.


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To add to Victor’s problems, his crush on Benji continues to gnaw away at him, even when he tries to distance himself. And during a road trip with Benji for work, Victor’s secret finally becomes too hard to suppress; kissing Benji as they share a bed in a local motel. Benji quickly ends the kiss and tells Victor he has a boyfriend, and Victor finds himself rejected just when he needed love.

But, to add to his problems, Victor now also knows his relationship with Mia is based on a lie, and he is sexually attracted to boys. And so Victor turns to Simon, arranging to visit him in New York for a weekend – a weekend that will forever change Victor’s life as he finally accepts who he is and what he wants with his return to Creekwood, wrapped in an urgent need to tell Mia and Felix that he is gay.

However, this is easier said than done, and while Victor tells Felix, he waits to tell Mia. He knows this is wrong, but he can’t break the news before the summer prom. And so as the summer comes into view, Mia and Victor attend the dance, but waiting in the wings is Benji, whose relationship is slowly unravelling, with Victor’s kiss the reason. And as the prom gets into full swing, Benji and Victor sneak outside and finally find love and comfort in each other’s arms; Mia looking on with shock as she sees them kiss. The boys, oblivious to her presence. But that’s not the only revelation prom night will bring, as Victor finally comes out to his parents as they also announce some shocking news.


LOVE, VICTOR – SEASON TWO

EPISODE ONE – PERFECT SUMMER BUBBLE

Love, Victor — “Perfect Summer Bubble” – Episode 201 — As summer break comes to an end, Victor grapples with his family’s reaction to his coming out. Benji (George Sear) and Victor (Michael Cimino), shown. (Photo by: Patrick Wymore/Hulu)

Warning Spoilers Ahead!

We’re back, and what better place for season two to begin than with the coming out speech that ended season one. In case you have forgotten, season one ended with Victor and Benji finally getting it on, Mia devastated, and Victor announcing his sexuality in front of his sister and parents following the summer ball. And now we finally get to see the response, and just as we thought, both Armando and Isabel are left in shock while Victor’s sister Pilar wraps her arms around her brother. However, Victor’s dad Armando already seems less perturbed by Victor’s news, asking the typical questions: What about Mia? And When did you decide? To which Victor responds, “I didn’t decide; I just am!.” Meanwhile, Victor’s mum sits in silence, and it’s clear she may have more of a problem with the news than her husband.

We then jump forward ten weeks as the summer break from school nears its end. Victor and Benji are loved up, Armando and Isabel have separated as planned. Felix has taken a summer job at Brasstown coffee alongside Victor and Benji. And Mia has taken up a camp counsellor role out of town. But, as the summer nights begin to turn to Autumn, Victor’s mum continues to struggle with her son’s news.


READ MORE: LGBTQ+ FROM STAGE TO SCREEN


Meanwhile, Victor’s dad settles into his new apartment, awkwardly attempting to show an interest in Victor and Benji’s new relationship. And Victor attempts to navigate his mother’s distance while also beginning to question how he and Benji will announce their relationship at school as the new term begins. And as Mia returns home and makes contact with Lake (who is even more smitten with Felix), she finds herself wondering where she fits within the newly formed group.

Considering its short 27-minute runtime, Love, Victor’s season two opener crams in a hell of a lot of significant issues left hanging at the end of season one. And at times, this leads to a slightly busy overlapping narrative. However, this also enables the episode to set the groundwork for four stories that will undoubtedly run through the season. The first of these stories centres on Victor and Benji’s return to school as a couple and Victor’s newfound confidence in his sexuality. The second is Victor’s mum’s problematic relationship with her son and his new boyfriend and her separation from Armando. Meanwhile, the third centres on Mia and her feelings for the friendship circle changed by Victor and Benji’s relationship. And finally, the fourth opens up the challenging home life of Felix, first glimpsed in season one.

While, at times, ‘Perfect Summer Bubble’ may feel too busy, it’s a solid start to season two, reflecting a new maturity and confidence in each character following the events of season one. And with multiple plot drivers established, this could be the start of a second season even more substantial than the first.


EPISODE TWO – DAY ONE, TAKE TWO

Love Victor
Love, Victor -Lake (Bebe Wood), Felix (Anthony Turpel), Victor (Michael Cimino), and Benji (George Sear), shown. (Photo by: Michael Desmond/Hulu)

Those who don’t identify as LGBTQ+ will never truly understand the challenges of coming out to family, friends and even strangers. Coming out is not a singular event, and while we all have a time and place where we decide to be ourselves, the truth is coming out never stops; it just becomes easier with time. For Victor, his coming out journey goes far beyond his previous relationship with Mia or his new love for Benji. And the complexities of this journey are all too real as we start episode two.

As we join episode two, Victor is not only battling with a sense of guilt over how he lied to Mia in the weeks leading up to prom but is also nervous about school friends knowing he and Benji are an item. But, to add to that, Victor’s mum continues to be evasive, and while stating she loves him, Victor knows she has not come to terms with his sexuality. The process of his coming out is cloaked in an unspoken discomfort at home, as his mum avoids any discussion. The result is a confusing patchwork of experiences for Victor, with his world divided between Benji’s love and support, fear of losing his mum, and apprehension of reactions at school. Of course, Victor’s experiences in episode two are nothing new.


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Most LGBTQ+ people will recount the mixed emotions and fears surrounding the weeks and months after coming out to family or friends, with each day a new coming out experience as the net widens and more people hear the news. While liberating, this is also scary, just as Victor is finding out, here the confidence he displayed in episode one is challenged as the reality of school comes into view, and his mum warns him of the dangers of telling people he is gay. Her words only further confuse the picture in Victor’s mind as he tries to find the right path through the first days of term.

Meanwhile, for Mia, the first day of school also represents a challenge; the rumour mill. This is not helped by Victor’s initial reluctance to tell people about him and Benji with the school gossip page ‘Creek Secrets’ going into overdrive as Victor’s basketball team spread rumours that she cheated on Victor over the summer. Of course, this only adds to Victor’s sense of guilt around Mia and a feeling that he has to do the right thing and come out to his school friends. So after a chat with Benji, where Benji explains his own coming-out journey, Victor bites the bullet and announces their relationship.

At the same time, Felix continues to struggle at home, his mum’s mental health problems now placing their home at risk. And as Felix struggles to find a way of paying the rent, it’s Pilar he confides in – and we can’t help but wonder whether there is a possible relationship between them brewing?


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Lacing themes of coming out with internal guilt and an external crisis of confidence, episode two once again plays to the strengths of Becky Albertalli’s original book. Highlighting that coming out is both internal and external in nature, as we try to judge the reactions of those around us. After all, as Simon said, “And this gay thing. It feels so big. It’s almost insurmountable. I don’t know how to tell them something like this and still come out of it feeling like Simon. Because if Leah and Nick don’t recognise me, I don’t even recognise myself anymore.”. And just like Simon, Victor’s internal and social journey is just beginning as we leave episode two. But luckily, he has Benji to support just how big the gay thing is.


EPISODE THREE – THERE’S NO GAY IN TEAM

Love Victor
Victor (Michael Cimino) and Andrew (Mason Gooding), shown. (Photo by: Michael Desmond/Hulu)

Relationships are messy, and emotions even more so. And despite what anyone tells you, we go through our entire lives wondering how we fit in, what people think of us, and what role we should play. It is, of course, true that these feelings get slightly easier with age, but they never fully disappear.

In episode two of Love, Victor, I talked about coming out as a journey, not a singular event. Part of this journey is rooted in emotions, feelings and belonging. And as Victor is just beginning to realise, his announcement at the end of episode two stirs up a range of responses among his fellow students. These responses range from sudden and unexpected interest in his life to friendships suddenly feeling distant and vague. And at the heart of the latter sits his basketball teammates, some of whom now feel uncomfortable changing alongside him in the locker rooms. 


READ MORE: THE SWIMMER


One of the strange things about the coming-out journey for both women and men lies within the reaction of some same-sex friends who suddenly worry you may secretly fancy them. These friends struggle to understand that same-sex attraction does not mean you are attracted to every person with a penis or vagina. In addition, they struggle to comprehend the fact that you have not suddenly become a sexual predator. Secretly stalking the locker rooms with uncontrollable desire or lust like a vampire seeking its blood fix.

Just like heterosexuals, LGBTQ+ people have specific tastes and desires when searching for a partner. Equally, they form friendships with other gay men and women that are not, and never will be, sexual. In fact, the very thought of sexual relationships with their close same-sex friends often fills them with horror. Victor is now learning that this fear of difference that his teammates display is based on their insecurities. His new place as an out gay man in a world of masculine stereotypes threatening the status quo. But, can Victor navigate the isolation of the locker room? Or will he take the easy way out?


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Meanwhile, Armando explores his emotions and feelings on Victor’s coming out and how he can further develop his relationship with his son. And as episode three opens, we see Armando attend his first PFlag support group for parents of LGBTQ+ kids. There he meets Simon’s dad, and despite his nerves, Armando finds someone he can openly talk to, finally sharing his concerns and feelings. Armando’s journey so far in the season reflects every supportive parent’s steps in redefining their parental role when a child comes out. But, once again, Victor’s mum is not present, her personal feelings creating unspoken divides in the family unit.

But, the messy nature of emotions, feelings, and belonging is not just the preserve of Victor as episode three continues. Here, we find Mia desperately trying to connect with a new college boy, leading her to lie about her age. While at the same time, Felix struggles financially as his mum’s depression haunts his home life. And as a boozy college party leads Mia to reconnect with Victor and decide she needs to be honest, Felix finally opens up to Lake about his problems. But, this also leaves Victor’s sister feeling rejected as her special, open relationship with Felix becomes less important to him.

Episode three is all about the emotions and feelings we carry daily and the complexity of finding our place. Whether that be in our school, our team, our friendship circle or family. And as the episode ends, we realise just how hard that journey can be, as Victor announces to his dad that he has quit the basketball team.


EPISODE FOUR – THE SEX CABIN

LOVE VICTOR
Felix (Anthony Turpel) and Victor (Michael Cimino), shown. (Photo by: Greg Gayne/Hulu)

Things are heating up in Creekwood, and no, I am not talking about the weather, as Victor and Benji’s relationship moves up a gear. But, just like Felix and Lake, and in fact, every teenager on the planet, finding somewhere quiet and personal is proving challenging with the school storage room, the kitchen of the coffee shop and Benji’s bedroom proving more than a challenge as people step in, just as the shirts come off. So Benji comes up with a plan that will benefit him and Victor, Felix and Lake, Andrew and his girlfriend, and Mia and her new college love interest. It’s a simple plan; a weekend away at his folk’s lakeside cabin. So, what could go wrong? The answer is plenty, as bravado and rampant hormones mix with the fear and reality of sex.

For Victor, his apprehension and uncertainty stem from Benji’s experience in bed. While at the same time, he worries that his working knowledge of gay sex is limited. Questions circle Victor’s mind, who takes what role?, what if I am nervous? In the end, Victor decides he needs some advice from Simon. However, as they arrive at the isolated cabin, Victor quickly learns there is no phone signal or wifi. Thankfully, Felix is on hand to talk to, but unfortunately, Felix is having his own crisis of confidence at the possibility of sleeping with Lake. Meanwhile, Mia is having her own crisis as her college boyfriend appears to be more interested in himself than her as they drive toward the cabin.


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To ease his nerves, Victor turns to vodka as the sun sets outside the cabin, while Felix opts to do some manscaping after talking to Andrew. It immediately becomes clear that the night is not going to go according to plan, first, Victor falls off the bed and bangs his head while trying to get a phone signal, and then Felix realises that razors and scrotums are a dangerous mix. Meanwhile, Mia arrives at the cabin without the college boy she has just dumped at the side of the road.

While at the same time, back at the Salazar home, Armando and Isabel find themselves bonding over Adrian’s missing turtle as the complexities of sex are demonstrated to be just as much of a maze for adults as teenage couples.

Episode four takes Love, Victor, into new territory as it embraces the complexities of teenage sex and relationships from a physical and emotional perspective. The Sex Cabin reflects all teenagers’ doubts and insecurities as sex rears its head in casual and committed relationships. But, more than that, it reflects how different this journey can be for gay teenagers, their insecurities amplified in a world where sex education is the privilege of heterosexual kids. The episode’s final message, is an important one, don’t force yourself into sex, just let it happen when the time is right; after all, anyone who truly loves and respects you will never apply pressure if you are not ready, and when it does happen, remember sex is about fun, and fun can be imperfect, messy and random.


EPISODE FIVE – GAY GAY

(George Sear) and Victor (Michael Cimino), shown. (Photo by: Greg Gayne/Hulu)

After episode four’s sexual tension and heat, it’s back to school in episode five and back down to earth for Victor. Having given up his place on the basketball team in episode three, Andrew is keen to get Victor back, but, for Victor, his experience of homophobia and in-direct discrimination within the team is still raw. Despite this, Andrew launches a charm offensive that includes his transformation into an LGBTQ+ ally. But, as Victor weighs up whether Andrew’s transformation is genuine or just based on the team’s needs, he also finds himself caught up in a conversation on identity with Benji and his band. Meanwhile, Lake meets Felix’s mother and becomes increasingly concerned about his ability to cope with her mental health condition. At the same time, Mia and Andrew finally reconnect (it’s about time!), and Armando issues an ultimatum to Isabel.

Episode five continues the ongoing discussions on identity, belonging and support, with its origins, rooted in the major connecting storylines that have weaved through the series so far. But, at the heart of this week’s discussion, we find Victor asking himself, What is a gay identity? And do stereotypes and subcultures define the experience of young gay people? These are important questions for young people who are just starting their new life after coming out. But, they are also questions that can prevent many people from coming out at all. Here, we find Victor asking himself whether his love of sport can coexist with his sexuality, while Benji’s bandmates jokingly label him an ex-jock.


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After all, can you really be a gay basketball player? Or does your sexuality immediately preclude you? Maybe you should instead take up music, art or acting? Of course, in the end, your sexuality is immaterial to your likes, dislikes, talents or abilities. But, for young people, the pressure to conform to a series of stereotypes can feel overwhelming. So if you have just come out, remember this one thing. Who you are and the talents you were born with don’t change just because you are now open about who you love. Embrace your abilities, whether they be sport, art, drama, academia or literature. After all, who defines what one person should or shouldn’t be? The answer is nobody but you. Take a leaf out of Victor’s book and never give up on what you love, just because it may not fit the stereotypes others carry.


EPISODE SIX – SINCERELY, RAHIM

Isabel (Ana Ortiz) and Victor (Michael Cimino), shown. (Photo by: Michael Desmond/Hulu)

Victor’s mum, Isabel, has struggled with her son’s sexuality ever since he came out after the prom, her silence, avoidance and internal religious conflict driving a wedge in their once-close relationship. And while Victor’s dad has sought help from a local Pflag group, Isabel felt her only option was to turn to her local priest. Meanwhile, it is clear Victor has struggled to find a path in talking to his mum, and while Benji may have been supportive of Victor in many areas, Victor’s relationship with his mum has not been one of them.

However, in episode six, the family takes centre stage, and with it, both Victor’s relationship with his mum and Felix’s home life and trust in his girlfriend Lake. But, surrounding this, we also have Mia’s new relationship with Andrew and a brand new character, Rahim, who seeks out Victor’s help. The result is a junction episode packed with big issues as the final four episodes of this season come into view.


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So let’s start with Rahim, Isabel and the unexpected family dinner. In just the same way Victor reached out to Simon for advice, Rahim messages Victor. Rahim’s life is caught in the trap of hiding his sexuality from his Muslim parents, fearing their reaction. On reaching out to Victor, Rahim believes Victor’s family were all supportive of his sexuality. However, as we know, Victor’s mum still hasn’t come to terms with the news. Of course, this leaves Victor in a difficult position. After all, how do you support someone else when you still haven’t resolved your own family problems?

Wishing to be supportive, Victor asks his sister Pilar to invite Rahim over when Isabel is out. However, just as Victor, Pilar and Rahim get to know each other, Isabel returns home early. And to Victor and Pilar’s surprise, she invites Rahim to stay for dinner, the two bonding over musicals, show tunes and a love of theatre. But, as Rahim announces to Isabel that he is scared of coming out to his parents, events take an even more unexpected turn with Isabel using the occasion to express feelings and thoughts she has been unable to voice to her own son.

The result is a break in the ice between Victor and his mum, as they both realise silence only breeds mistrust and anger. But, as Victor begins to understand his mum’s struggle, Benji’s advice is less than helpful. And as one of Victor’s relationships begins to thaw, the other begins to feel decidedly cold.


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Meanwhile, for Felix, Lake’s decision to tell her mum about his home problems has unexpected consequences. While Lake’s mum tries to intervene and help, Felix’s mum is taken into hospital following another breakdown. As a result, Felix is assigned a social worker. And as much as Lake and her mum felt like they were doing the right thing, Felix cannot forgive them, asking to stay with Victor’s family while his mum recovers. And that’s not the only family scare, as Mia’s dad’s partner is rushed to hospital with problems due to her pregnancy.

As stated at the beginning of this episodic review, Sincerely, Rahim is a classic juncture episode, bridging the opening and closing halves of season two. However, just like all the episodes so far, the writing and performances are superb and the messages are deep. Here, it’s all about the importance of family and how we communicate with our loved ones, our ability to talk freely and openly, often clouded by our fear of losing those closest to us.

Episode six demonstrates that whether our problems are rooted in fear of letting others in (Felix). Or a decision to stop listening when someone is trying to understand something new (Victor); our families are precious and complicated. But our role within them is often confused. However, no matter how confusing family may be, honesty, openness, and communication can and do allow for healing as we grow alongside those we love.


EPISODE SEVEN – TABLE FOR FOUR

LOVE VICTOR
Armando (James Martinez) and Isabel (Ana Ortiz), shown. (Photo by: Greg Gayne/Hulu)

In the film Words on Bathroom Walls, Adam (recently diagnosed with Schizophrenia) states, “It’s hard to let someone find you in all the dark and twisty places inside, but eventually, you have to hope that they do, because that’s the beginning of everything.” In any relationship, whether a friend, parent or lover, it can be difficult to let someone into the areas of our life we keep firmly closed. After all, what if they walk away from us or decide we are not the person they thought they knew.

This is a risk we all have to accept as we open ourselves up to others. But, it is also a part of human life that never goes away no matter how old you get. In truth, nobody is ever 100% honest about everything that makes them tick. We all choose to divulge some information while keeping other parts firmly locked away. However, sometimes this information comes out anyway, often from other people, and that can cause significant problems in any relationship.


READ MORE: WORDS ON BATHROOM WALLS


You may remember Benji divulging information about his car accident to Victor several episodes back. It was apparent then that this car accident had a significant effect on Benji, his trauma wrapped in the guilt of drunk driving. However, it turns out Benji may not have told Victor the whole story. And when Benji’s parents invite Victor out to a trendy restaurant as a birthday surprise for Benji, the story spills out, much to Benji’s discomfort. It turns out Benji had a real problem with alcohol and has been attending alcoholics anonymous for the past year. As a result, he has pretended to drink around Victor and his friends, not wanting to discuss his sobriety. For Victor, this news is surprising when Benji regularly offers advice to him about being honest, resulting in their first major fight.

Meanwhile, as Victor struggles to deal with Benji’s lack of honesty, Lake struggles to rebuild a relationship with Felix following her honesty. Lake still believes she did the right thing in telling her mum about Felix’s family problems. And she keeps hoping Felix’s anger will dissipate and he will come back to her. However, for Felix, his trust and confidence in Lake is not so easily repaired as his mum remains in hospital. And despite Lake’s efforts, he has no intention of going back.


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Of course, for Pilar, this opens a door of hope as she finally admits to Rahim that she fancies Felix. And what about Amando and Isabel, I hear you ask? Well, as Isabel attends her first Pflag meeting, she sees Amando flirting with a fellow attendee. Deciding honesty is the best policy, Isabel confronts Amando, but does she want to hear the answer? However, her night is about to become even more complicated as she returns home to find Victor and Benji ‘making up’ in bed.

Episode seven reminds us that while honesty is the best policy, the results may not always be what we expect. But, that doesn’t mean we should hide our feelings and emotions from those we love. And with only three episodes left several questions, remain to be answered. Will Pilar and Felix get together? Will Benji and Victor manage to navigate the divides slowly building? And, could Rahim come between Victor and Benji?


EPISODE EIGHT – THE MORNING AFTER

LOVE, VICTOR
Benji (George Sear) and Victor (Michael Cimino), shown. (Photo by: Greg Gayne/Hulu)

Isabel accidentally walked in on Victor and Benji at the end of the last episode, ‘making up’ after their argument. Now, of course, when I say ‘making up’, I mean making out, as things were getting more than a bit hot under the collar. And this is where we pick up episode eight, except this time, we see things from Victor and Benji’s perspective as Isabel walks in at the most inconvenient moment. However, Isabel is generally more concerned with the fact that Victor’s younger brother was sleeping next door as Victor quickly dresses to apologise. But, when Benji joins the discussion, things take a far more fiery turn, and when Victor’s younger brother wakes up and walks into the room, it’s Benji who snaps and tells him that he and Victor are boyfriends.

Victor is just as mortified by Benji’s actions as his mum. After all, they were planning to tell his brother, but not like this. And as Benji leaves, it would appear the couple’s relationship problems are far from over. The following day Isabel invites Armando over to help explain the night’s events to Victor’s brother, but to everyone’s surprise, Adrian takes it all in his stride, his brother’s sexuality not an issue, and this only further helps Isabel overcome her own concerns, as she decides to challenge the local priest on his homophobic views.


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Meanwhile, after a blazing argument with Victor, Benji goes AWOL, and Victor worries he may have turned to drink. For support, Victor turn’s to Rahim, and their conversation turns to sexuality, race and religion. Here, Rahim understands the complexities of Victor’s cultural heritage in a way Benji cannot; the mentee becomes the mentor as they discuss the cultural journey many LGBTQ+ young people face. Here a true friendship of support blossoms, as both young men find shared experience and understanding in the journey of the other. But, can Rahim’s advice save Benji and Victor’s relationship? And what would Benji think about Victor disclosing his past alcohol problems to Rahim?

But, it’s not just Victor turning to Rahim for advice, as Pilar also tries to navigate her feelings for Felix. However, on this occasion, Rahim’s direction may well be wrong, because, while Felix may find himself more and more drawn to Pilar as a friend, it’s unclear there’s anything more.


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Then we have Mia and Andrew, their relationship solid and loving compared to the car crash surrounding them in their friendship group. But, trouble is never far away, and as Mia’s dad announces his intention to take a new job in California, Mia sees little option but to follow him. But Lake and Andrew aren’t about to let Mia leave without a fight.

Now at this point, I know what you are asking. What about Benji and Victor? Well, let’s just say that for now, things aren’t looking good. And as episode eight closes, they’ve decided to take a break. Oh, hang on, did I say ‘they’? Maybe I should say Benji has decided to take a break, despite Victor’s attempts to make things right. Will the break be permanent? Will Felix get back with Lake or take a chance on Pilar? And finally, can Mia trust her dad to take on board her feelings about the move? With only two episodes left, there are a lot of loose ends still to tie up.


EPISODE NINE – VICTOR’S DAY OFF

LOVE, VICTOR
Victor (Michael Cimino) and Rahim (Anthony Keyvan), shown. (Photo by: Patrick Wymore/Hulu)

One of the things I love about the second season of Love, Victor is the raw honesty on display. The show hasn’t been afraid to explore some of the big issues young people face when they come out throughout the season. For example, we have seen the thorny issue of sex in a world where gay sex education isn’t discussed outside of online forums. While at the same time, we have explored themes of race, religion and the interface with sexual orientation and experience. But, even though all these important themes have found a dedicated voice, one topic has remained absent; the importance of gay friendships in navigating the LGBTQ+ world. However, with episode nine (my favourite of the series so far), this important part of LGBTQ+ life finally finds a voice.

With Victor still reeling from his split with Benji, Rahim suggests they skip school for the day. After all, Rahim also needs some TLC after coming out to his parents the night before. Victor, at first, isn’t sure about Rahim’s suggestion, but he soon finds himself persuaded, and the two head into town, taking in some street food, coffee and finally a local gay bar. The result is a delightfully simple episode that focuses solely on Victor and Rahim and their conversations and shared experiences of gay life. Here, both boys discuss the pleasure and pitfalls of online gay hook-ups, image, sex and concepts of masculinity in a gay world finding something truly special in the other; freedom to talk, laugh and enjoy a newfound sense of connectivity and belonging.


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However, with this new bond come questions for Rahim and Victor. Are they just friends? Or is there something more stirring? These are questions LGBTQ+ young people often face when they build a new same-sex gay friendship, the freedom, love and energy their new friend offers confused for possible physical attraction in the early days. However, these friendships are so much more important than sex; they are the foundation on which your LGBTQ+ life is built. And while friendships may change over time, and some may even develop into lovers, friends who understand you, your journey and your experiences are a rare and beautiful treasure that we should protect at all times.

For Rahim and Victor, this one special day is the spark of something new, a friendship built on shared laughter, advice and honesty. The result, gives us a new Victor, one who is bold, relaxed, fun and less worrisome. Whether this builds into a new relationship, I hope not, because, Love, Victor has just found the beauty and importance of LGBTQ+ friends, and that’s too valuable to discard for sex. After all, like The Beatles once wrote, “I get by with a little help from my friends”, a message that rings true throughout our lives.


EPISODE TEN – CLOSE YOUR EYES

Victor (Michael Cimino) and Felix (Anthony Turpel), shown. (Photo by: Greg Gayne/Hulu)

So here we are at episode ten. I have to say I am going to miss our weekly check-in with Victor and co. But, all good things must eventually come to an end, even if it’s just for now. Last week saw Victor and Rahim find a new friendship, while Victor and Benji’s relationship floundered. And yes, we all wondered whether the spark of something new sat within Victor and Rahim’s day together, because let’s be honest, we hadn’t seen Victor that relaxed and happy since episode one. However, if you are expecting any easy answers, you may just have to wait. But, more of that later.

It’s the morning of Harold and Veronica’s wedding day, but Victor feels uneasy. After all, Benji has decided not to attend as his plus one, leaving him at somewhat of a loose end. But, on asking his sister, Pilar helpfully suggests Victor should go with Rahim instead; Rahim quickly accepts before Victor has even had a chance to think. Meanwhile, Felix welcomes his mum home, her hospital stay finally coming to an end. But, as he tells her of his split with Lake, his mum surprises him, praising Lake and her mum for helping her to get better. This raises an important question for Felix, has he been too hard on Lake? And should he give their relationship another go?. However, to add to this dilemma, he now knows how Victor’s sister feels about him, and maybe he isn’t sure how he feels about her?


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Meanwhile, Mia is under the impression her dad turned down the job offer from Stanford University after their heart-to-heart. However, Harold couldn’t bring himself to say no, and as the wedding starts, Veronica insists he tells Mia the truth, her hopes for remaining at Creekwood High with Andrew suddenly dashed. But, this time, Mia isn’t going down without a fight, and Andrew isn’t going to let Harold off the hook, even if it is his wedding day.

But, that’s not all folks, because we have the will they, won’t they reunion of Armando and Isabel, and Isabel’s arrival at Benji’s workplace during the wedding; her mission to try and help resolve the problems that sit between him and Victor, while apologising for her previous behaviour. As the wedding gets underway, relationships take centre stage, with Felix suddenly realising that Lake may not be the one he needs. At the same time, Benji arrives only to find Victor dancing with Rahim. And as Victor tries to explain, leading Benji to storm off, Rahim declares that he thinks he may love Victor.

Escaping from the wedding party, both Victor and Felix find themselves consoling each other; Felix announcing he may love Pilar while Victor tries to work out whether Benji or Rahim makes him happy. And as the episode comes to an end, Felix finds Pilar and finally returns the kiss she gave him in spades, while Victor travels across town to the door of the boy he loves. But, is that Benji or Rahim? Well, I am afraid we will have to wait until season three for that answer.


LOVE, VICTOR, SEASON THREE


It could be argued that Close Your Eyes mirrors the finale of season one with a classic tale of loves winners and losers. But, we have come a long way since season one, and Victor’s final phone call to Simon beautifully expresses this. Victor is now a young gay man and a confident one at that. And whatever the outcome of his choice, one thing is for sure; it’s his choice, based on his needs.

Over the course of season two, Love, Victor has not only built upon season one but transcended it, with a rich tapestry of themes, ideas, and discussions, taking us to places absent in the teenage LGBTQ+ dramas of the past. Here, conversations on race, sex, mental health and coming out have found a new voice in characters who sing with originality. The result has been a fresh, important and beautifully written season that reflects modern gay life for many young people. Here the trials, tribulations and questions of young gay life are explored and embraced. This makes Love, Victor just as important as a range of LGBTQ+ TV milestones, including Queer as Folk or It’s a Sin. Love Victor’s ability to talk directly to a teenage audience while never shying away from difficult topics, is admirable, even if occasionally rooted in a classic American feel-good drama.

As it moves into season three, the challenge for Love, Victor, will be to maintain this standard and continue to plough new ground. If it can manage this, it will avoid becoming a teenage soap opera and undoubtedly cement its place as one of the best teenage LGBTQ+ dramas of recent years. But, whatever its destiny, one thing is for sure, season two has been an absolute pleasure from start to finish, and we look forward to welcoming Victor and co back to our screens in 2022.


Rating: 5 out of 5.